for whom the gun tolls

I won’t comment on the VT shootings. What I can say on the subject won’t ease the pain nor offer solutions on how to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. I don’t believe gun control laws would prevent someone from killing large groups of people if they are intent on doing so, just like I don’t believe allowing concealed weapons on campus would have prevented it either (in fact, I think the death toll would have likely been higher… simple math, more guns, more bullets, more likelihood that strays and ricochets find an innocent bystander).

I commented on a post Frank wrote on his blog about VT. Here is what I wrote:

I don’t believe there is anything wrong with owning guns… they are a hobby, albeit a dangerous one.

The problem in the US isn’t the readily available weapons, but the ignorant people who use them to force their will on others. Criminals, militants, etc. If the government said, “You want to own a gun? You must first pass this IQ test!” I seriously doubt the problems that are normally attributed to a lack of gun control would ever take place.

Guns don’t kill people… ignorant people kill people. If I had to guess, I would say the average IQ of a gun owner hovers in the low 80s. Not stupid, but not exactly the top ten percent of the countries intelligencia. endquote

Frank, quite obviously, took offense to my comments. His stance was that I was offending gun owners, perhaps going as far as to think I believe all gun owners are morons. Of course, I don’t believe they are morons. A moron has an IQ of roughly 51-70 and is a step up from “imbecile” (IQ of 26-50) and two steps up from “idiot” (IQ of 0-25). I admit I posted a number (the low 80s) based on nothing more than a personal experience with gun owners. Clearly, if my math is accurate, and that math is based on numbers that I was able to dig up, the average gun owner has an IQ of roughly 92. Clearly my original estimate was off by as much as 12 points (given low 80s would mean an IQ of 80-85). But still, the average of 92 is still lower than the national average of 98. How did I arrive at this number? Keep in mind that this is by NO MEANS a scientific study on the correlation between IQ and gun ownership. I made a generalization and I am using available data to substantiate my belief. Don’t get bent all out of shape or you will force me to postulate that people with low IQs also have a low sense of humor.

Well, first we try to get an idea of the average IQ of each state population. I used the information gathered here.

Then we try to get an idea of where gun owners live. Based on available data, in 1994, 44 million Americans owned 192 million firearms, 65 million of which were handguns. Although there were enough guns to have provided every U.S. adult with one, only 25 percent of adults actually owned firearms; 74 percent of gun owners possessed two or more. Thirty percent of all handgun owners had an unlocked, loaded handgun in the house at the time of the survey.
I got my numbers here.

Upon studying that piece of information, I surmised that a preponderance of gun owners (not all, but on the average, MORE) live in southern states. This is arguable, but for the sake of this piece, we will take it on merit that it is RELATIVELY ACCURATE. So, if this is relatively true, and more gun owners live in southern states than they do in northern states, then we can begin to harvest data for how I arrived at my belief.

Based on the information, southern states had the following IQ statistics on average:

State                              Avg IQ
Florida                              98
Missouri                            98
Tennessee                         94
North Carolina                   93
West Virginia                     93
Arkansas                           92
Georgia                              92
Kentucky                            92
New Mexico                       92
Texas                                  92
Alabama                              90
Louisiana                             90
South Carolina                     89
Mississippi                           85

14 states with an average IQ of 92 (add up all the averages–1290– and divide by the number of states–14– and arrive at the average IQ for those states). Again, not scientific, but close enough to shoot in the head with a handgun.

So, if the average IQ of those states is 92, then we can postulate that the average IQ of gun owners in those states is commensurate with those statistics. If those statistics are fairly accurate, you can then, with a reasonable level of accuracy, further postulate that the national average of gun owners across the US is around the same. Not science, but at least enough to begin a discussion on whether or not gun owners are the smartest tools in the shed. Clearly, my original statement, “Not stupid, but not exactly the top ten percent of the countries intelligencia,” isn’t as offensive as one may think.

We can further explore the IQ by addressing certain facts about gun owners in general. In a survey of 800 gun owners, more than 20 percent reported keeping a firearm both loaded and unlocked in the home. Smart? Arguable.

I honestly do not believe gun laws will change the American gun culture. Our culture was built on violence on every level of our history and as such, it isn’t something that is easily forgotten or abandoned. The right to bear arms is a fundamental right that shouldn’t ever be curtailed, but the fact that we are quicker on the draw than other countries belies a much deeper problem than just a lack of intelligence on the part of gun owners. We glamorize guns and the culture of violence and until we stop doing that, guns and violence will continue to be accepted as just a part of being American.

So, to Frank I apologize if all you got from my comment was that gun owners are dumber than the rest of the population. A lot of times the way I communicate my ideas tends to overshadow the content of my ideas. If you ignore everything else, and focus instead on this perceived slight to you as a gun owner, then you are clearly missing the point. My point was that most gun owners (and here the stats at least partly justify my beliefs) are not the brightest bulbs in the box and allowing them to make decisions for rational human beings isn’t exactly the safest bet.

The fact that guns are available has nothing to do with crime. Just as having a gun for protection is NOT insurance against having a crime committed against you. Their is no correlation between any of these ideas. I would imagine that comic book evil geniuses nonwithstanding, most criminals are on the lower end of the IQ bar. Yet, they are still able to get guns. And if you think having stricter gun controls will prevent them from getting guns, you are clearly not very bright either.

8 thoughts on “for whom the gun tolls”

  1. Yeah, I am not sure exactly what you are asking me… or what you are implying. The most important thing to remember when posting something in any blog is to make sure you can be understood.

    Let’s see… are you implying that I said that only intelligent people should make laws? Or that only smart people should read the bill of rights? Or that the Bill of Rights should only apply to smart people? Or that only smart people should own guns… clearly you can’t be arguing for letting idiots have guns… I can’t possibly imagine a situation in which anyone would argue that someone of lower intellect (or say, mental illness, like the VT shooter) should be protected by the Bill of Rights as it pertains to purchasing a weapon. Apparently, I am not one of the intelligensia when it comes to whatever it is you are trying to communicate.

  2. It’s really simple, and I’m surprised you find it so difficult. You said “You must first pass this IQ test!” regarding gun ownership, AKA the 2nd Ammendment to the Constitution. You’ve therefore identified one of the original amendments, so…is there anything else from the BoR that requires an Ed-approved level of intelligence?

    Or like I said originally, “Is there any other part of the BoR that you would reserve to the intelligentsia?”

    One day, I’d be interested in hearing your mechanics of testing all Americans for gun ownership IQs, and how you’d go about setting the acceptable-to-Ed levels, and if they’d be subject to legislative action, and how we manage extant gun ownership by idiots. I’m sure, given the thought that you’ve given this one amendment, you’ve got, at a minimum, a policy paper on it.

  3. Oh, I am supposed to get all that from your rather cryptic original comment. I guess I don’t understand your flavor of English. The implication that I was supposed to get from that missed me, or I missed it, not really sure. Perhaps you carry on conversations in your head that I am not privy to so I apologize if I don’t quite always get your meaning. But, now that you have helped me understand, I never, not once, said that the bill of rights should be reserved for anyone, not did I imply any such thing. In fact, I never said ANYTHING about changing the bill of rights in any way. But, clearly you just want to chime in, thinking that you can simply distract me by posting gibberish. The 2nd Amendment declares the necessity for “a well regulated militia”, and prohibits infringement of “the right of the people to keep and bear arms.” I am starting to believe you can’t read, which then makes it easier to understand why you may be opposed to testing. Read the verbiage of the 2nd Amendment, then read my original statement, and explain to me how you get that I am advocating what you are implying? And if you notice the words “well regulated” do you understand what that means? Regulated… as in laws… as in making sure that the militia isn’t a bunch of idiots with more firepower than brains.

    What I did suggest was that people be tested prior to being allowed to purchase a weapon. Is that unreasonable? I don’t think it is to be honest, but then again, I am not saddled with a low IQ, so tests are not that difficult for me. To that end, let’s say that the Minimun IQ should be 120. Standard testing apparatus, nothing special. See, the interesting thing is, with an IQ of 120, the chances of you thinking you need a gun are slim.

    And look, I am a huge proponent of the constitution. I believe whole heartedly that the constitution is the greatest document ever created. What I suggest is not an infringement on freedom. It is no different than having to take a test to drive a car, or become a doctor… clearly those two things you would agree carry a great deal of responsibility.

    My guess is that your big issue is that you would have to take a test that you might fail and thereby, you are automatically opposed to any kind of test requirement to enjoy the things you enjoy. You see it as an infringement on your government-given rights where I see it as an assurance that dumbasses don’t have EASY access to weapons.

    I don’t know you from Adam, but I do know that you are no different than lots of conservative Americans in that you want what you want, and don’t want anyone to tell you what you can have. You believe in the law only when it benefits you and if doesn’t, then clearly it isn’t a good law. Mentally speaking, that is on par with a child. Good luck passing the test Scott. I’m pulling for you.

  4. That’s a nice bunch of stuff, but I did ask a simple question: “Is there any other part of the BoR that you would reserve to the intelligentsia?” That’s really all I’m interested in hearing from you. I don’t see what’s cryptic about it.

    If you don’t want to answer the question, that’s fine.

  5. Oh christ on a cracker…

    “Is there any other part of the BoR that you would reserve to the intelligentsia?” That’s really all I’m interested in hearing from you. I don’t see what’s cryptic about it.”

    Seriously? You don’t? Let’s take a closer look… what does “reserve for the intelligentsia” mean? Do you mean what parts of the Bill of Rights I would apply only to the intelligent people in the US? Do you mean only let intelligent people read that part of the bill of rights? You are a fucking idiot. Seriously. Your command of English is suspect…. are you French Canadian? Or are you just like Corky from Life Goes On… not quite retarded, but still a mongoloid who has problems communicating at times?

    You have got to be the biggest piece of shit to ever stink up the bottom of my shoe. You really can’t read can you?

    I have never said that I would reserve ANY part of the bill of rights for anyone. Again, if you want a straight answer to your dumb question, the answer would be NONE. I would “reserve” none of the Bill of Rights for anyone. And my original comments did not in any way imply that I promoted letting the constitution or the bill of rights apply only to a certain segment of the population. Again, one more time for Corky… the answer to your question is NONE! Get that you fucking moron? Now i Know why you oppose testing, because you are definitely an idiot. I have had bowel movements with higher IQ’s than you. You are precisely the type of fucking thick skulled idiot that shouldn’t be allowed to reach full term as a fetus, much less have access to weapons of any kind.

  6. First, there was this: “You want to own a gun? You must first pass this IQ test!”

    Then there was this: “I have never said that I would reserve ANY part of the bill of rights for anyone.”

    There is a distinct difference between those two statements. I’ll point it out for you. One restricts the right to keep and bear arms to those who pass your IQ test. The other says that you wouldn’t.

    Which do you believe, you “fucking idiot”? It’s one or the other, Ed. But you can’t even decide that, can you? These absolutes are so difficult for you, aren’t they?

    You’re just another big-mouth pseudo-intellectual poseur who’s completely incomplete. And you banned me, too. Go back to school…it’s where you belong, amongst the other academic chumps.

  7. Banned? How can you be banned if you are currently commenting. You are a fucking moron.

    Secondly, there is a big difference between saying, “No, you can’t do this regardless of who you are and what you bring to the table, and saying, “you can do this if you do this…” you can’t be so obtuse as to think that they are the same thing… you are a fucking idiot.. stay on the fucking farm you pig fucking assmuncher…

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